The Fifth Bowl — Darkness (Revelation 16:10-11)

After about six months of burning heat (from the fourth bowl), this plague will begin without warning; the sun will suddenly be completely blocked out, leaving the earth, or at least part of the earth, in thick darkness. We don’t know, but I suspect that, though there will be a relief from the scorching sunburn, the heat will still remain—like being trapped inside of an oven.

Now the Scriptures say that this plague will be poured out on the throne of the beast—on his kingdom. But where exactly is that? Some say that it will be the rebuilt city of Babylon, which is in Iraq. Others insist that it will be in the city of Rome. But I wonder if it will not extend further that just the city where he resides. How far is considered his kingdom?

Another question I have is: how long will this darkness last? I don’t think it will last to the end of the Tribulation, when the war of Armageddon if commencing, because they will need some light to fight. But I think it will be at least a few months, which I’m sure will feel like a long time.

One author suggested that people won’t even be able to produce electrical power to see in their homes, because most electricity is produced from rivers and bodies of water, and God will have shut that off (as you may have deduced from the second and third judgments). But I suspect that they will at least be able to light candles or use a flashlight. I don’t know. We don’t know how much God will allow.

One thing we do know is that the darkness will be felt and will produce pain—so much that people will gnaw their tongues in pain. That sounds to me like some kind of a nervous disorder. In Exodus 10:21, in the nineth Egyptian plague, it is written that the people felt the darkness. Also, in the prophetical book Zephaniah (Zeph. 1:15), it is written that in the coming day of the Lord it will be “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” I’m not sure if there has ever been this kind of darkness on the earth. I’m sure that it will be terrible.

Surprisingly, it will not cause people to repent of sins. They, I suppose, will love their sins too much to repent. And, as in the previous bowl-plague, they will curse God because of their pains and sores.

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